Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Feel Spooky-Coziness in the Air....

by Xani

Regular readers, or anyone who has ever met EP or myself, know that Halloween is our favorite holiday. No question. Even the slight chill of fall, a rust-colored leaf, or writing a "10" in front of the date on a check gets me in the Halloween mood. So if you are anything like us, you're starting to feel that itch to get your Halloween on. I thought I'd go through the archives and dig up some of our old seasonal posts to start getting things all kinds of spooky up in here!

Going waaay back into the x-files, here's a post about a fabulous party where we invited our guests to make their own Haunted Gingerbread Houses! Making that much gingerbread was a terrifying ordeal but the party was a blast!

We made a LOT of gingerbread


Another scaaaary Halloween memory was the caramel lady-apple ghosts we made as seasonal treats for our friends and co-workers. Things really got ominous when we almost burned down Mom and Dad's house with a caramel boil-over. Luckily the spirits took pity on us and the apples came out great!

Almost boil over-- the horror!


Finally, we remember back to last year, when we threw a truly over-the-top Seven Deadly Sins Halloween Soiree. The costumes were fierce, the decorations were creepy, and the food was out of this world. The only thing scarier than the costume fashion show was the giant mess to clean up the next day-- but it was worth it!

Clementine all spooked-out

Halloween isn't complete without costumes

Themed food? Sounds like us...

So what do those crazy BCD girls have in store for THIS Halloween?? Only one way to find out, keep reading! And don't forget to vote for BCD in the Mobbies, everyday through Oct 9. We need your help!

Keep it scary,


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BCD takes NYC: "Fabulous in Fall" Edition -- Day 1

by Erin and Xani

While a normal report of one's vacation would include highlights, including culinary ones, we do it a little differently around BCD. You see, when we go on vacation, especially our trips to NYC, we put in literally months of research to determine where we should eat. Thus, everywhere we go is a highlight :) That's why it takes us 3 posts to write about one weekend, because every restaurant was hand-picked and highly anticipated.

So, let's start with Day 1 (of 3)! Actually, we should start with day -1 (??) because before we got to NYC, we spent some time in Philadelphia. Xani had been in Philly for work for the week, and then EP and friends Matt and Smulson drove up from Baltimore on Thursday night to see the much-awaited It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia LIVE show! For those who don't know, It's Always Sunny is a TV show on FX that recently went on tour, so to speak. We are huge fans of this television show and our friend Andy not only hooked us up with great tickets, but also was one of the driving forces behind the show's existence! Thanks Andy - we love you! The show was, in a word: awesome.

"Are you chewing gum??" (And yes, that's Danny DeVito!)

"Day Man!"

Of course, while we were in the City of Brotherly Love, we had to have cheesesteaks! We went to Jim's before the show and got a classic cheesesteak with provolone (not cheez wiz - can't bring ourselves to eat that!) and an Italian cold cut sub. Both were good, neither blew our minds. I hope we don't get threatening emails over that last sentence like the Magnolia Cupcake incident of '08.

The following morning, we took the trusty Bolt Bus to NYC!! Two hours later we arrived at Madison Square Garden and got a cab to BFF Lauren's place of work, where we dropped our bags. Thanks LP! Then, excitingly, Xani and I were off on our own in NYC. We had a game plan, and it had alliteration: Prune, Porchetta, Pinkberry.

We took a cab down to the Lower East Side and started at Prune. We'd been to Prune before in February for Xani's birthday, and were eager to get back for some snacks and cocktails. Daytime drinking is classy when you do it at Prune ;)

For our drinks, we got their famous Bloody Mary and also a Ghost of Mary, which Xani had the last time we were there. The Bloody Mary was very fresh-tasting and definitely homemade, with a good amount of fresh horseradish. The Ghost of Mary was much lighter and very refreshing, due in part to their using tomato water (they strain their Bloody Mary mix to make a consumme of tomato, of sorts) and lemon vodka. Yum!

While drinking our drinks, we were noshing on the various garnishes (house-pickled, of course) and we ate what appeared to be a pickled green grape and it was so delicious! We asked the waitress for more of them (greedy for garnishes, we are) and she informed us that they were pickled, unripe (green) grape tomatoes! Called "tom-olives" in the biz. She told us we could buy them at Zabars, so we did!

She brought us extra tomolives!

Then we got two little snackers to go with our cocktails and garnishes. Again, one was a repeat and one was new. The repeat was "Cold Spicy Eggplant, Fried Salt Cod, Hard Boiled Egg" which was just as delicious and interesting as we remembered. As described, it was spicy, smoky, salty and a wee bit fishy from the cod, but then it had a beautifully cooked egg and some creme fraiche on top. These were served with grilled bread with black and white sesame seeds, and the whole thing was very satisfying.

We also got the Sous Chef Salad, which had lovely greens, boiled potato, cheddar cheese, radishes, fresh corn, walnuts, and a vinaigrette made with walnut oil. Yum!

After our visit at Prune, we headed to our next stop just a few blocks away: Porchetta (pronounced por-KET-ah). (And on our way we saw a MOVIE STAR!! Bryan Greenberg! Swoon!) We've had our eye on Porchetta since we strolled by it on our way to Butter Lane last February, and were almost carried away by the scent of roasted pork, like in the cartoons.

Porchetta has approximately 2 things on its menu: roasted pork, and potatoes cooked in the pork fat with the "burnt ends" of the pork (crispy pieces of porky goodness). We got both, natch. We ordered the pork in sandwich form and it was SO. GOOD. It was super-flavorful from the herbs rubbed on it, and it had a contrast in texture between the meat and the crispy skin - when's the last time you got delicious crispy pork skin in the US, much less on a sandwich in the middle of NYC?! The potatoes were, as predicted, incredible. Potatoes + pork fat + burnt ends = magic.

Last stop of the afternoon was Pinkberry, the frozen yogurt craze that is sweeping the nation. Xani had had Pinkberry before but EP had only had one of the knock-offs in Baltimore, so we were excited to get a sweet treat at the original yogurt shop. The verdict? Pinkberry actually IS better than the knock-offs! Xani insisted there was a difference but EP wasn't convinced until that moment. We got the regular "tangy" flavor with kiwi and strawberry, and then a coconut-flavored yogurt plus chocolate-covered crisps on top. It was sweet but not too sweet, and a great (light) dessert after our multi-stop lunch in the East Village.

We then walked all the way back to Lauren's office in Tribeca (and worked off approximately one bite of pork), and changed for dinner. (I swear, there were many hours between Pinkberry and dinner!!) For dinner we gathered cousins Ann and Steven, cousin Brian, friend Melody, and of course BFF Lauren at a wonderful Peruvian place called Yerba Buena. Since we had a large group, we ordered MANY things to share. Some of the highlights were the taquitos (so tiny!), the fish tacos, both ceviches (one was flounder and one was ribeye with sea urchin!), the guacamole, the empanadas, the croquetes, and of course, the cocktails! As is often the case when we get this crew together, much of our energy is focused on catching up with our dining companions, so the food is (for once) not our main focus.

Awesomely spicy guacamole

Empanadas with Peruvian corn (it was gigantic!)

Croquetes of manchego cheese - TDF!

Rib-eye ceviche with sea urchin (uni) and more Peruvian corn

Taquitos - so tiny; see lime for scale!

Churros - a great end to the meal

Whew - what a day! A couple more NYC posts comin' atcha in the coming days!

We'd like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been voting for us as the best Foodie blog in Maryland on the Baltimore Sun's Outstanding Blog awards, the Mobbies! Keep up the great work! Remember you can vote once a day, every day, until October 9th!

Happy voting,

EP & X

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National Coffee Day

by Xani
I just found out it's National Coffee Day! Since coffee is half of the reason we exist (maybe even more than half), I couldn't let it go without mention. To celebrate, check out our previous posts about COFFEE.

Don't forget to enjoy a delicious donut with your coffee to make the experience complete-- and don't forget to vote for BCD in the Baltimore Sun's Mobbie awards!

It's about time to get a cup myself...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

We’re Nom-Nom-NOMINATED!!

by Xani and Erin

Here’s the big news you’ve been waiting for! Black Coffee and a Donut has been nominated for a Mobbie—the Baltimore Sun’s awards for Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs—in the Foodie Blogs category, natch.

“Vote for the blogs. Take the cannolis.”

So here’s the deal: you vote by clicking HERE. (Note that you have to create a username and password for the Baltimore Sun but it's no biggie. We're worth it, right??) You can vote once a day, everyday, starting Monday, September 28, at 8am, until October 9 at 5pm. So vote, vote often, and TELL YOUR FRIENDS! We have no shame and will be launching a massive campaign to gather votes. We’ll be hitting up our friends and family, utilizing all our social networking skillz, and activating our Wonder Twin powers!

We're so excited to be nominated and hope you will support BCD and help us win our first ever award. We've got some stiff competition, but we know our fans will come through for us. You'll be handsomely rewarded with more great content and, possibly, cookies (we better read the fine print first though- cookie bribes might be expressly prohibited).

Let the voting begin!

X & EP

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